FBI makes arrests in cargo theft ring

Last week, federal agents in Ohio said they arrested several men in conjunction with an elaborate three-state big rig and cargo theft ring.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said five individuals were arrested Feb. 7, based on a federal complaint filed in U.S. Court, Northern District of Ohio for their involvement in a scheme involving stealing cargo and dismantling semi-trucks and trailers.

Arrested and taken into custody in the truck theft ring were Mike Wymer, 54; Mike Deutsch, 37; Gary Wymer, Sr., 55; Terry Wymer, Jr., 28; and Shawn Wymer, 27. An arrest warrant was also issued for Robert Debolt, 47.

Those arrested are suspected of being involved in a conspiracy to steal trailers in as many as nine towns throughout the state of Ohio, six towns in Indiana, and three towns in Michigan from September through December 2012 resulting in an estimated loss of over $2 million in those four months. Items within those trailers included, but were not limited to, ATVs (all-terrain-vehicles), rolled copper wire, thousands of pounds of aluminum scrap metal, aluminum shavings, diamond plate sheets, and spools of metal. Some of these items were trafficked to New Castle, PA, and sold as scrap or were listed on the Internet for sale, as in the case of the diamond plate sheets.

“These defendants operated a truck and cargo theft ring, stealing from Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana, which resulted in multi-million-dollar losses. This case was a true collaborative effort by all participating agencies, and we are committed to holding accountable those individuals who engage in this organized criminal activity,” said Stephen D. Anthony, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Northern District of Ohio.

In September 2012, officials from the Ohio State Highway Patrol approached the FBI about joining forces to investigate reports of semi-trucks and trailers along with their contained cargo being stolen in Ohio. The joint investigation revealed an extensive scheme that reached into Ohio’s neighboring states. Additional investigative agencies were brought in to include the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the National Insurance Criminal Bureau, and the Toledo Police Department.

U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach added, “This was a highly organized group that stole from people throughout the region. The FBI, Ohio State Patrol, and all the law enforcement partners involved in this investigation have done a tremendous job shutting down this ring.”

The case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office following a joint investigation by Ohio State Highway Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Toledo Police Department, National Insurance Criminal Bureau, and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

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